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March 3rd, 2015

Whither Don Draper?

I have to log into an activity tracking site at work as part of an initiative for employees to get off their fat asses (thanks Obama). But hey, they pay me $100 to do so, so I dutifully log on once a week or so to input how much I've exercised. Every time I do so, I'm greeted with this:

Don Draper has really let himself go. I am increasingly less interested in the final season of Mad Men if Don starts wearing denim.

Posted 10:41am
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February 27th, 2015

And you want to be my latex salesman...

This week, President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline and the FCC approved net neutrality. On the other side of the aisle, Sen. James Inhofe brought a snowball to the floor of the Senate to 'prove' that climate change is a hoax. That is all.

Posted 9:39am
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February 24th, 2015

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment.

- You guys! Come quick! Children in Kentucky are playing Led Zeppelin on Xylophones! I SAID KENTUCKY KIDS ARE GETTING THE LED OUT! ON XYLOPHONES! I am so filled with so many emotions I may pass out.

- I finally fell down the youtube rabbit hole of Billy on the Street, and I'm still a little winded from all of the laughing. Start with the above, and then your desert is Billy, Big Bird and Michelle Obama. Hooray internet!

- We played a little game here a few months back naming the one word best picture winners. In celebration of Sunday's event, someone stole our idea and made a souped-up version of our game. Fucking internet.

- The Michigan Brewer's Guild Winter Beer Fest is Saturday, and after a much too long hiatus, I'll be returning to Grand Rapids to stand in a parking lot in 30 degree weather and drink beer all day like an idiot. I'm obviously excited. Over one hundred breweries will be pouring over 1,000 different beers. It's a wonderful time to be alive...

- Finally, our whirlwind tour of Texas was a rousing success, and the BDGF is already planning the rest of our vacations in perpetuity to places like Kansas and Southern Indiana so we can see every manned U.S. space vehicle (I'm not even kidding a little bit). My Texas vacation placation was dragging everyone to trivia at the Alamo Drafthouse where we took third place. Go Team Apollo 15! I took a screen shot of our internet fame in case it disappears:

I'll get one of these kids to become a trivia nerd and come play with me yet. The littlest is clearly my best bet. I've already turned her on to Parks and Rec. The series finale is tonight, but we still have this to look forward to:

Posted 3:33pm
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February 13th, 2015


Best I can figure there are three impetuses to go vacation: go see somebody, go see something, escape the weather. All three are equally meritous given your situation. When the BDGF and I go on vacation in Februarys, we try and balance her predilection for sunshine with mine for nightlife. Not that we don't love both, but our minimum bars for each vary. So far, we've managed to stay away from anything north of Tennessee no matter how much I'd love to see it, and we've similarly avoided a generic, all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, despite any guarantee of 80 degree weather.

The tipping point on destination choice usually ends up being NASA. We've been to Space Camp in Alabama, Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Neil Armstrong museum in Ohio, and the Air and Space Museum in D.C. The next obvious choice was Mission Control in Houston, where we will be headed next week. It'll be warm and there will be plenty to see and do - a sure fire antidote to freezing Michigan weather that makes one never want to leave the house.

We'll have the littlest in tow, so less concerts and breweries than our typical itinerary. Then again it's Texas, which seems to care less about bringing children into bars than your typical state, so you never know. In any event, vacation is good. The weather will be good. Most importantly, I'm not on a cruise ship or at a resort with limited entertainment options and forced interactions with Marge and Jerry from Wisconsin. I know I'll probably have to bite the bullet on that one someday. Here's hoping they get moon vacations up and running soon, because I'd rather start saving for that.

Posted 11:59am
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February 10th, 2015

This Week in Indie Rock.

- Listen and/or watch: Belle and Sebastian on Conan, new Matt & Kim video, Jack White on Fallon, Hamilton Leithauser live, Ben Folds new album teaser, new Death Cab and here's how alike Smith and Petty are.

- Watch how Bowie ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

- Here's the purported best song about every state. I've long held the belief that every song about Ohio is about how terrible it is to be there. The Pretenders, The White Stripes, Elvis Costello - the consensus is in.

- Finally, here's a great analysis about how a great album can lead to a ton of terrible knock-offs. Bottom line: you are underrating Van Halen.

Posted 11:59am
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February 4th, 2015

Broken, beaten down, can't even get around.

The rumors of my demise are apparently spot-on.Last Wednesday our truncated family (sans college kids) went to beautiful downtown Detroit to see an evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Opera House. You know, just a night listening to a lecture from America's most prominent astrophysicist, like you do. We were all super excited and I can honestly say we all left better informed and excited to go get out there and science.

Except for the fact that the Detroit Opera House's seats were designed by the Marquis de Sade.I'm not a large man. I'm 5'10" and 165 pounds, which is spot-on average height and 30lbs (30!) under the average weight of the American male. I don't say this to brag, just to note that if a night at the Opera House almost killed me, I don't know how they have anything there outside of fifth grade field trips.

Dr. Tyson spoke for two and half hours, which meant that I was shoved like rendered pork into a sausage casing into the miniscule Opera House seats for 150 minutes. I couldn't move my legs more than 2 inches in any direction for that entire time. I lost feeling below the knee about halfway through. It was unpleasant, but I was concentrating on the science, so I made it. Until the next morning that is.

I awoke the next morning stiff (non-sexually). As I went about my day, limping around work, things went from bad to worse. The next two (TWO!) nights I couldn't comfortably lay down in any position for more than about 10 minutes. I was covered in icy hot, heating pads and pumped full of ibuprofen. I was pretty sure I was going to lose the leg.

Of course I was fine by Saturday night. I still don't know if I pinched a nerve, pulled something, popped something or if I am just incredibly old and decrepit. I know that going forward, I have to treat my body like a five year old child, in that it has an inability to sit still for more than five minutes. Or it certainly can't be immobilized for two and a half hours. While I lament my inevitable decay, I do plan to use this condition to get me out of any event that I don't want to go to. If you can't use your age to get you out of doing the things you don't want to do, what's the point of getting old?

Posted 10:35am
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January 29th, 2015

Radio Silence.

I am not dead. Yet. The ol' bloggy blog has taken a seat in the way, way back in deference to other considerations as of late. To whatever loyal readers I have left, my sincere apologies. It's not like we all didn't see this coming. Like a relationship where people just grow apart, it's a tad lamentable but ultimately understandable. I promise we can still be friends. Look! We're hanging out right now!Sitting in the front seat of my discretionary time vehicle at the moment is something, should it ever come to fruition, I think you're going to really enjoy. It's a long shot and a ways away, but that hasn't prevented it from eating up the time I used to spend bloviating here. I can tell you that the BDGF and I own the following:

For various legal reasons, the second set of addresses are probably going to be the important ones, but much more on that much later. Also, before you go clicking, there's nothing there. At any address. We have no content at the moment.

So that's where I've been instead of here. It's exciting and harrowing. I can't wait to tell you more as things become tangible. And I really look forward to enlisting you all to help us get the word out about our little misadventure. Cheers.

Posted 11:52am
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January 13th, 2015

You take the good, you take the bad...

I am predictably and I would argue understandably upset this morning. I mean, Ted Cruz is now holding NASA's purse strings and the man who thinks climate change is a good thing (that doesn't exist) is in charge of the EPA*. Oh, and let's just watch how your new congressional overlords roll back Dodd-Frank and the Volcker rule, because deregulating millionaires means we all win! Should we, or should we not, follow the advice of the galactically stupid?

As we rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, please to enjoy the new Belle & Sebastian and Sleater Kinney records, as well as Spoon's performance on ACL. Because in these trying times as our resolve is tested as it has never been before, we could all use a reminder that there is still beauty in the world. Or just take all of the drugs and dance around to the new Matt and Kim song. You always have an out.

*functional equivalent thereof

Posted 1:22pm
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January 9th, 2015

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- Politics, politics, politics: America! Welcome your 2015 congress! Still enamored with a failed and debunked economic theory, while pissing all over the last bit of non-partisanship in D.C. (Oh, and Islamic terrorism is just like interracial dating!*). Take solace in the fact that they might protect your internet? Oh wait, that's not Congress, they are busy trying to add billions to the deficit just to sink Obamacare again .Congratulations, dickholes. Thanks for the economic recovery?
* Yes, this is not a member of Congress, but let us not pretend that Fox News isn't just the PR wing of the GOP.

- TWiIR notes: Watch Spoon play ACL and debut a new song in Houston. Jack White gets in on the ground floor (2015 edition) of virtual reality and put some easter eggs in people's furniture back in the day. And not to ruin your weekend if you haven't already heard, but the Magic Stick passed away this week. Or at least it will shortly be dead to me. We had good run kiddo. You will be missed.

- NASA makes some great travel posters and shows what it looks like on re-entry of an Orion spacecraft. I mean, you can literally do a Google News search for NASA any day of the week and be amazed. Good on ya NASA.

- A new trivia app for your mobile device enters the zeitgeist about once a year before eventually succumbing to the fickleness of the public's attention span. They also get a little easier every time out for some reason. Qrank was better than QuizUp was better than Trivia Crack, but I'm still currently in love with the latest trivia sensation. I probably won't be in month (the questions are often eye rolling) but for now, hit me up! It kills time!

- Finally, as a huge nerd I love cataloging things. I have spreadsheets of my album and movie and comic book collections. When I read that Steven Soderbergh posted a list of everything he watched in 2014, and that Doug Benson was trying to watch 365 movies in 2015, I decided to do the same in real time. So now you can travel a little further down the creepy internet voyeurism rabbit hole and keep up with everything I'm watching in 2015! Will I watch 365 movies in a year? The suspense is terrible! I hope it'll last...

Posted 11:42am
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January 5th, 2015

Happy Harbaugh New Year!

The old adage says that no poker player remembers any of the great victories of their career, but every last one of them remembers every bad beat. Or something along those lines anyway. It's a little sad but ultimately very true. In our day to day we do a lot more bitching and moaning than celebrating. Maybe there's infinitely more to complain about. Perhaps bitchery is more contagious than a feel-good-mutual-appreciation society. I know a profanity laced tirade is fun and cathartic, and a touchy feely monologue feels self-congratulatory and gauche. Some of these may be my issues and not applicable to society as a whole. When I'm being sincere, it's tough to say.Whether it's just me or not, I still think we could all heed Kurt Vonnegut's advice more often:

Please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'

You're probably back at work today. You're tired and irritable and inundated with shit that went wrong or piled up while you were out. Whatever your warm memories of the holidays may be, they're probably rapidly cooling in the blustery January air.

But hey, it's a new year. As arbitrary as that may be, it doesn't mean you can't use it as an impetus to remember to take a breath more often and mutter 'If this isn't nice...' Jim Harbaugh is in Ann Arbor! If that isn't a slap in the face reminding you that good things happen and should be enjoyed, I don't know what is.

Posted 3:51pm
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This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.